Netanyahu makes surprise Shabbat address to the Israeli people

No Israeli PM has spoken in public on the Sabbath since 1994


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu surprised the Israeli people with a shock Shabbat public address, the first time that an Israeli leader has made a speech on Shabbat since 1994.

It has been a long-established tradition that the government does not make big announcements on the Sabbath in Israel, leading some Israelis to expect a substantive announcement from Netanyahu.

His speech, rather than announcing any major developments to the country, was focused instead on boosting morale, and encouraging Israelis to keep supporting the soldiers of the IDF.

Netanyahu confirmed that he had met with Israeli families with missing loved ones, promising that the IDF "had only just begun" to take vengeance on the Hamas terror group responsible.

A week after the start of the most recent war with Hamas, the Israeli death toll currently stands at 1,300, with more bodies still being found in the affected areas in the south of the country.

The IDF announced yesterday that its troops had begun to make limited incursions into the Gaza Strip, recovering bodies and belongings of hostages held by Hamas.

Currently, dozens of Israelis as well as Americans and Brits are still missing and believed to be held by terrorists in residential areas of Gaza. The IDF has urged Gazans living in the north of the strip to evacuate southwards, leading to speculation that a large-scale ground invasion is imminent.

Netanyahu's speech in full:

“Citizens of Israel, Shabbat Shalom.

“Shabbat Shalom to our forces deployed across the country who are celebrating the Sabbath in the field, far from home.

“Today, we all understand that we are fighting for our home. And we are all fighting tooth and nail: soldiers, police officers, citizens, security forces, health personnel and rescue teams—and Israel’s citizens, with your extraordinary volunteering spiring that has touched the entire world.

“We are all mobilized; we are all united. Stories of the heroic acts of our people in these dark days of pain and grief, of that cursed Saturday, will be told for years to come. Stories that will become an integral part of the history of Israel.

“We will never forget the horrific acts perpetrated against us by our enemies.

I spoke today with bereaved families and families whose loved ones are still unaccounted for. Their world has collapsed. I know.

“We will never forget the horrific acts perpetrated by our enemies, and we will never forgive. We will not allow the world, or anyone, to forget these horrors, the likes of which the Jewish people have not endured in decades.

“We are pounding our enemies with unprecedented force, and I stress, this is only the beginning. Our enemies have only just begun to pay the price. I will not detail our plans, but I tell you, this is only the beginning.

“In my phone calls with [U.S.] President [Joe] Biden and other world leaders, and through many other efforts, we are securing vast international support for Israel. Earlier today I met with the U.S. secretary of state. We are ensuring that the war will continue through munitions and weapons that are en route to Israel.

“We will obliterate Hamas, we will triumph. It might take time, but we will end this war stronger than ever. ‘May the Almighty cause the enemies who rise up against us to be struck down before them.’

“Shabbat Shalom.”

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